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Pittston Township advances with win over Nanticoke

First Posted: 10:59 pm - July 7th, 2015 - Views

By John Erzar - jerzar@timesleader.com



Pittston Township shortstop Josh Baiera, back, tags out Nanticoke’s Ethan Egenski at second base as Pittston Township second baseman Stevie Sciandra reacts to the play in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.
Pittston Township’s Matt Cocco, left, slides safely to third base as Nanticoke’s Jake Krupinski loses the ball in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.
Nanticoke shortstop Derek Cease, left, forces out Pittston Township’s Stevie Sciandra at second base in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.
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By John Erzar

jerzar@timesleader.com

Pittston Township shortstop Josh Baiera, back, tags out Nanticoke’s Ethan Egenski at second base as Pittston Township second baseman Stevie Sciandra reacts to the play in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_TTL070815PTNanLL_3.jpg Pittston Township shortstop Josh Baiera, back, tags out Nanticoke’s Ethan Egenski at second base as Pittston Township second baseman Stevie Sciandra reacts to the play in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.

Pittston Township’s Matt Cocco, left, slides safely to third base as Nanticoke’s Jake Krupinski loses the ball in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_TTL070815PTNanLL_1.jpg Pittston Township’s Matt Cocco, left, slides safely to third base as Nanticoke’s Jake Krupinski loses the ball in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.

Nanticoke shortstop Derek Cease, left, forces out Pittston Township’s Stevie Sciandra at second base in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.
http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_TTL070815PTNanLL_2.jpg Nanticoke shortstop Derek Cease, left, forces out Pittston Township’s Stevie Sciandra at second base in District 16 Little League action Tuesday night in Pittston Township.

PITTSTON TWP. — At first glance, Pittston Township doesn’t appear to have the size some people believe is necessary to win in Little League.

Truthfully, some of the players are kind of small. At least physical. But they measured up to any team in the desire department Tuesday night.

Taking advantage of what was given to them, the Pittston Township all-stars edged Nanticoke 5-4 to advance to the semifinals of the District 16 Major Baseball tournament.

Pittston Township finished 3-1 in Pool B, giving it second place and a semifinal game at Pool A champion Plains (4-0) at 2 p.m. Saturday. Pool A runner-up Hanover (3-1) will play at Pool B champion Mountain Top (4-0) in the other semifinal also at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Saturday’s winners will meet at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Pittston Township for the D16 championship.

Pittston Township led 5-3 going into the top of the sixth, but Nanticoke’s Ethan Egenski led off with a single and a couple walks an out later loaded the bases. Reliever Josh Baiera got a strikeout, but then walked in a run before getting an infield fly to end the game.

“He’s been battling during this whole all-star thing,” Pittston Township manager Carmen Sciandra said. “But what he just did those last two innings to me that was a lot of chutzpah. He showed a lot of chutzpah there. That’s a 12-year-old saying,’Give me the ball and I got this.’”

Catcher Sean Connors did as well. Another player who defies the thinking that a bigger guy is better behind the plate, Connors nailed two Nanticoke runners trying to steal second by showing accuracy is more important than throwing the ball fast.

“The performance of Sean Connors had behind the plate, he battled,” Sciandra said. “He had some tough plays with the throws to second, but when we needed him he got that out. That was key.”

So was defense, something that eluded Nanticoke in the second inning and allowed Pittston Township to take a 2-0 lead. Matt Cocco walked with two outs and J.J. Walsh followed with a routine grounder that was misplayed. A couple bad throws later and the two were across the plate.

An RBI double by Stevie Sciandra and a groundout by Baiera increased the lead to 4-0 in the third.

Nanticoke cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth, using a bases-loaded walk by Colin Mackiewicz and a two-run single by Collin Piestrak to score the runs.

Pittston Township got a run back in the fifth. P.J. Pisano led off with an infield single, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a groundout and scored on another wild pitch.

“We made a couple mistakes early and gave up a couple runs,” Nanticoke manager Al Brown said. “I was proud of our kids. They battled. They could have rolled over, but didn’t. They got back in the game. Pittston Township is a good team. They played well and didn’t make any mistakes.”

Pittston Township starter Andrew Gallia picked up the win, allowing one hit over three innings.

Pittston Twp. 5, Nanticoke 4

Nanticoke`AB`R`H`BI

Myers cf`1`0`0`1

Matson p`4`0`0`0

Krupinski 3b`1`1`1`0

Cease ss`2`1`0`0

Egenski rf`2`2`0`0

Brown 1b`3`0`0`0

Casey c`1`0`0`0

Mackiewicz lf`0`0`0`1

Day lf`1`0`0`0

Piestrak 1b`1`0`1`2

Penko 2b`2`0`0`0

Kruczek 2b`1`0`0`0

Totals`19`4`4`4

Pittston Twp.`AB`R`H`BI

Pisano cf`2`2`1`0

Sciandra 2b`2`1`1`1

Baiera ss`2`0`0`1

Gallia p`3`0`1`0

Bennie 1b`2`0`0`0

Murdoch 3b`1`0`0`0

Nocito 3b`1`0`0`0

Cocco lf`0`1`0`0

Turant lf`1`0`0`0

Walsh rf`1`1`0`0

Elko rf`1`0`0`0

Connors c`2`0`0`0

Totals`18`5`3`2

Nanticoke`000`301`—`4

Pittston Twp.`022`01x`—`5

2B — Sciandra, Gallia.

Nanticoke`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Matson (L)`2`1`4`2`3`1

Krupinski`3`2`1`1`1`2

Pittston Twp.`IP`H`R`ER`BB`SO

Gallia (W)`3`2`3`3`4`3

Baiera (S)`3`2`1`1`6`2

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

Reach John Erzar at 570-991-6394 or on Twitter @TLJohnErzar

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